Specializing in Authentic Civil War Artifacts
  • Inscribed Allen and Thurber Revolver

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    Inscribed Allen and Thurber Revolver - Inventory Number: HAN 074

    Presentation to Civil War Chaplain Rodney Gage.  Born in Massachusetts, Chaplain Gage enlisted on 8/6/1862.  On 8/6/1862 he was commissioned into US Volunteers Hospl Chaplains.  He was discharged on 3/4/1863.  He then reenlisted as a Hospital Chaplain on 4/22/1863 and was Mustered Out on 6/2/1865.  

    Although the firm of Allen & Wheelock was only in business for eight years - from 1857 to 1864 - it produced a surprisingly large variety of firearms. Their products included single shot, double barrel, 4, 5, and 6 shot pepperbox pistols; single barrel, double barrel and revolving cylinder rifles, both muzzle loading and breech loading; and over 20 revolver models with more than a hundred variations. Included in this proliferation were the five percussion revolver models with which we are concerned. This entire arms production was based upon the various patents of Ethan Allen. 
    Allen held 22 firearms patents, of which five were applicable to percussion revolvers. The first, No. 3,998 of April 16, 1845, was not granted for a percussion revolver but for a pepperbox.

    The revolving mechanism was very simple a screw in the side of the trigger pivoted an arm, which acted on the ratchet on the rear of the cylinder. Many percussion revolver makers used variations of this. 
    Ethan Allen had been making single shot pistols and pepperboxes for almost twenty years before the partnership with Thomas Prentice Wheelock was formed. With the beginning of the new company, Allen & Wheelock, a diversified line of band guns was introduced. The fortuitous combination of events - diversification and the expiration of Colt's patent - allowed the manufacture of revolvers.  
    Allen & Wheelock manufactured the Side Hammer Model with a combination trigger guard/loading lever. Four distinct frame sizes, corresponding to caliber, were made, and there were also two variations for each frame size, with the variations being in the sideplates, loading lever catch.  The first variation had a lateral friction catch for the trigger guard and the sideplate on the left extending down the side of the spur trigger housing.

    It has been estimated that less than 100 of each of the .28, .34 and .36 calibers and 250 of the .31 calibers of the early type were made. Approximately 1,000 each of the .28 and .31 calibers and 750 each of the .34 and .36 calibers of the later type were made. There were numerous small variations on all of these, but features common to all were: octagonal barrels ranging from 2 to 8 Y2 inches in length; cylinder pins screwing into the frame from the rear; and deeply engraved cylinder scene with a forest setting and varying numbers of deer.  All of the .36 caliber were six-shot and all smaller Side Hammer Models were five shot. The cylinder attachment and rotating method was different from most percussion revolvers.

    The cylinder decoration of both varieties was a deeply engraved forest scene with deer and dogs. Cylinder engraving on the Allen & Wheelock revolvers was extremely deep and has held up over the years better than on any other American percussion revolver.


    Rodney Gage:

    Enlisted on 8/6/1862 as a Chaplain.

    On 8/6/1862 he was commissioned into US Volunteers Hospl Chaplains 

    He was discharged on 3/4/1863

    On 4/22/1863 he was commissioned into 

    US Volunteers Hospl Chaplains 

    He was Mustered Out on 6/2/1865

    Promotions:

    * Chaplain 4/22/1863 (Hospital Chaplain)

    Other Information:

    born in Massachusetts


    Inventory Number: HAN 074







    born in Massachusetts